Top 10 put-downable books

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6440981.stm

Interesting to see Cloud Atlas in at number 5 – I wonder if the SF elements were just too off-putting to the average reader?

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6 Responses to “Top 10 put-downable books”

  1. Iain Clark Says:

    I suspect that it’s not so much the SF as the ‘bittiness’. You’re halfway through before the structure of the book becomes apparent, assuming you make it that far. Prior to that it’s a bit like starting several (practically unrelated) novels and never reading to the end. Worse, you start each novel a few chapters in. That’s not exactly page-turning material.

    If genre is a factor it could simply be that each of the book’s threads occupies an entirely different category, but I suppose it’s possible that the SF was the final straw for some Richard & Judy viewers. ;-)

  2. Niall Says:

    I find it hard to believe anyone bought the book without knowing what the structure is. In fact, surely there must be a blurb describing the structure on the book somewhere?

  3. Iain Clark Says:

    Well, I knew it was composed of story fragments in different voices which would add up to a connected whole in some sense, but I didn’t know the structure would mirror around the centre point. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised I might actually find out how the stories ended!

    This may have something to do with my spoiler-aversion. I tend not to read blurbs once I’ve dedided to read the book.

  4. Abigail Says:

    I find it hard to believe anyone bought the book without knowing what the structure is

    Mind you, this was in early 2004. I picked it up on a lark because of a good review I’d read somewhere, which later turned out to be for the other Cloud Atlas published that year.

    Once the first chapter cut off, though, I flipped ahead and saw what was coming.

  5. Abigail Says:

    You need a preview option here. There should be a ‘raises hand’ in carets before the sentence that begins with ‘Mind you.’

  6. Martin Says:

    I find it hard to believe anyone bought the book without knowing what the structure is.

    I don’t. It is a Big Name Book that suddenly lots of people were reading all at once and as such is the sort of book people who don’t buy books buy. This also explains the appearance of Vernon God Little and Captain Corelli on the list.


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